Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (2024)

Home » From Fast Food to Fine Dining: Copycat Restaurant Recipes for Every Taste! » Olive Garden » Olive Garden Bolognese

by Stephanie Manley, Last Updated 19 Comments

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

This recipe for Olive Garden Bolognese has been on the Internet for years. It is rumored to be their actual recipe. I haven’t seen this dish on their menu for a long time.

Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (1)

Table of Contents

Olive Garden Bolognese vs Meat Sauce

Let’s get one thing straight from the very beginning – this recipe doesn’t make the samemeat saucethat appears on the regular menu at Olive Garden. It makes something much, much better.

On occasion, and in only some parts of the country, and only if you are exceedingly lucky, you may one day find yourself at an Olive Garden that is running a seasonal special of Beef Bolognese. And if you do wind up in such a situation, be smart and skip the unlimited pasta, salad, and breadstick combo. Order the Beef Bolognese instead. You won’t regret it.

But, why leave enjoying this sauce up to chance? You can enjoy the same great flavor available at the restaurant by making this simple BeefBolognese saucerecipe at home.

What isBolognese Sauce?

Authentic beef bolognese is rich and hearty, chockfull of an assort of meat and vegetables, and cooked for hours over low heat to develop the perfect amount of sweetness and consistency.

Officially, the sauce is known as Ragùalla Bolognese in Italian. A ragù being anymeat sauce and Bolognese being the preferred style of ragù of the people living in the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna.

While this recipe isn’t strictly the traditional Ragù alla Bolognese you may expect to see in a trattoria in the Old Country, like most Italian-American dishes, it is a mash-up of old-school inspiration combined with American ingredients and tastes. The most essential thing is that this sauce is darn good.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need to make braised beef bolognese:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Ground beef
  • Italian sausage
  • Dry red wine, Merlot or Pinot Noir recommended
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Fresh rosemary (dry can also be used)
  • Fresh sage
Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (2)

How to Make Olive Garden Beef Bolognese

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (3)
  1. Add ground beef and cook for 10 minutes, stirring to break up and crumble the meat while it is cooking.
  2. Add wine to de-glaze the pan and let it reduce.
  3. Add tomatoes, rosemary, and sage. Stir to combine.
Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (4)
  1. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour.
  2. Serve over fresh, hot pasta.

Choosing the Best Pasta to Serve with Bolognese Sauce

Amazingly, there are hundreds of pasta shapes out there, and despite what some Americans believe, it isn’t just because it makes eating pasta “more fun”.

The real reason why spaghetti is long and thin while rigatoni is short and hollow is that cooks designed these two kinds of pasta shapes to pair with different sauce styles.

Traditionally, Italians almost always serveBolognese saucewith tagliatelle. Tagliatelle is a medium-sized, flat ribbon-cut pasta that provides the right amount of surface area for the thick and meatyBolognese sauceto cling to without overtaking the star of the show.

You will often see Ragùalla Bolognese served with pappardelle in many Italian-American restaurants, a pasta similar to tagliatelle except even wider.

Other good options are pasta that is shaped like tubes such as rigatoni or penne.

Tips For Cooking, Serving, and StoringBolognese Sauce

  • Try in a lasagna.This beefbolognese sauceworks exceptionally well when making lasagna.
  • Serve on bread.A few spoonfuls of this sauce spread on a fresh slice of crusty Italian bread, maybe a dusting of parmesan, and a few splashes of olive oil make a great appetizer or light supper when served with a salad or soup.
  • Store bolognese in the fridge or freeze for later.Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for three days, or freeze for up to two months.
  • Reheat on the stovetop.Thoroughly defrost before warming through on the stove over medium heat. Remember to stir occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning.
Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (5)

Love Olive Garden? Try these copycat recipes!

  • Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce
  • Capellini Pomodoro
  • Chicken Scampi
  • Steak Alfredo
  • Shrimp Alfredo Recipe
  • Fried Mozzarella
  • Olive Garden Soups
  • Olive Garden Italian Dressing Recipe
  • Apple Sangria
  • Italian Lemon Cream Cake

Favorite Italian Recipes

  • Cavatini
  • Chicken Piccata Pasta
  • Instant Pot Pasta and Sausage

Be sure to check out more of my easy Italian recipes and the best Olive Garden copycat recipes.

Please stay connected with us byfollowing us on Instagram!

Olive Garden Bolognese

You can recreate the Olive Garden Bolognese at home with this copycat recipe.

4.91 from 11 votes

Print Pin Rate Add to Collection

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Italian

Keyword: Bolognese, Olive Garden Recipes

Servings: 6

Calories: 323kcal

Author: Stephanie Manley


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 6 ounces Italian sausage removed from skin
  • 1 cup red wine (Merlot or Pinot Noir recommended)
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage


  • Heat oil in a large pan. Add celery, carrot, onion, and garlic and cook about 5 minutes. Add meat and cook 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. De-glaze pan with wine; let it reduce. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients and stir; simmer for about 1 hour. Serve over fresh, hot pasta.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 410mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home!I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Previous Post: « Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Next Post: Jello Poke Cake »

Reader Interactions


  1. Michele

    Hi Stephanie, Just wondering how much pasta should I cook for that amount of Bolognaise sauce?


    • Stephanie

      This makes a lot, I normally cook up just enough pasta for the meal, and when I reheat the sauce I make fresh pasta.


  2. yanagi

    Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (8)
    Since I’m actually allergic to fresh tomatoes can I make this with sauce instead?


    • Stephanie

      I think that could work.


  3. Andrea

    I can’t get over how MEAN people can be in their comments/reviews, of recipes that a chef is kind enough to go to the time & trouble, to post/photograph! If you don”t have something nice to say…don”t say anything at all!


    • Tanya Robinson

      Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (9)
      Thank you! It’s unreal how people will go out of their way to post a nasty comment. Clearly their mom’s didn’t teach them “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”!


    • Treefrog

      I don’t agree. Constructive criticism has its role and is valuable to me.


  4. Teresa Breedlove

    A friend made this for game night and it was awesome.


  5. Margaret deVries

    the original Bolognaise sauce had no vegetables or italian sausage…..I wish they would bring it back…
    Think it had a creamier tomato sauce….been so long…..but it was my favourite


  6. Anonymous

    Olive Garden meat sauce recipe


  7. Laina

    I used to work for Olive Garden and I can tell you that this is not the original recipe. There was a lot of cream, three different meats and tomato suace, but not much veggies.


  8. Perry

    Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (10)
    I’ve made this recipe several times in the last few weeks. It’s turning into a favorite of my husband and mine. We eat it on pasta with garlic bread. It’s also very easy to make as long as I plan ahead a bit. Thanks for this! 🙂


  9. Judy G

    Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (11)
    I love this recipe. My husband said it is a keeper. We ate this with pasta and garlic bread. Thanks for the recipe.


  10. Onion Recipes

    I love this recipe. My wife ate her’s on pasta, but I ate mine right out of a bowl as pictured above with breadsticks. mmmmm!!


  11. Rich

    “could tend itself”

    What the hell does that mean? Did you intend to say it could “lend” itself?


    • admin

      I did mean to say lend 😉 Thanks for letting me know I had a typo.


      • Diana

        Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (12)
        I love everything you take time to post. You make me look good always.

Leave a Reply

Olive Garden Bolognese - CopyKat Recipes (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kelle Weber

Last Updated:

Views: 5701

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kelle Weber

Birthday: 2000-08-05

Address: 6796 Juan Square, Markfort, MN 58988

Phone: +8215934114615

Job: Hospitality Director

Hobby: tabletop games, Foreign language learning, Leather crafting, Horseback riding, Swimming, Knapping, Handball

Introduction: My name is Kelle Weber, I am a magnificent, enchanting, fair, joyous, light, determined, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.